Thursday, March 10, 2005

Other Constitutions Alert: Finland

The ever mischevious Lew Rockwell blog points to interesting aspects of the Finnish Constitution.

What this means is that if the legislature wants to enact a statute that is unconstitutional, instead of having to actually amend the Constitution (with supermajority and other procedural requirements), the legislature can pass the questionable statute with the same supermajority and other procedural requirements otherwise required to amend the Constitution, and that law itself will be constitutional but it will not be viewed as having more fundamental normative implications than it would if it were put in the Constitution itself. Also, unlike amendments to the Constitution, it can be repealed in the same way a normal statute could be.

Huh, interesting idea. Anyone have a good reason why a government can’t repeal certain contemporary supermajority laws with a simple majority. It seems specifically useful in times of paranoia where it’s tempting (for the public) to ignore our civil liberties altogether. What we get is some laws and executive actions that don’t even consult the Constitution, and some attempts at overturning Constitutional laws. But these a-constitutional laws could get the job done temporarily, but also not be stuck on the books forever.


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